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UPD: 13/01/2014 Pray where you want. Yanukovych defended the Greek Catholics from the Ministry of Culture
President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych considers it necessary to improve the legislation in the religious sphere regarding the right of believers to pray in those places where they wish.
"People should have the right to pray where they want," the press service of the head of state Yanukovych said on Monday, Interfax-Ukraine reports. According to Yanukovych, the legislation should provide such an opportunity for everyone, regardless of their religion.
"We need to soften the legislation and provide believers with an opportunity to pray where they want," the head of state said. The President stressed that he treats all confessions with equal respect.
The press service of the president noted that the current legislation provides for the need for official permission for worship, if it occurs not in a place specially designated for this purpose.
As reported, the leadership of the Ministry of Culture appealed to the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC), Archbishop Svyatoslav (Shevchuk) of Kyiv-Galich, to ensure compliance with the legislation on public worship and pointed out that priests should have permission to conduct services in such places , as Maidan Nezalezhnosti in Kiev. The Ministry of Culture recalled that according to the requirements of the law "On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations", worship services, religious ceremonies, ceremonies and processions without appropriate permits can be conducted only in religious buildings and in the surrounding territory, in pilgrimage places, in apartments and in citizens' homes and in some other places (in cemeteries, in places of individual graves and crematoria). "In other cases, according to current legislation, public worship services, religious ceremonies, ceremonies and processions are held each time with the permission of the relevant local state administration, which is currently absent," the letter says. The letter also notes that failure to comply with such requirements may become the basis for putting before the court the issue of suspension of the activities of the relevant religious organizations. In response to this letter, Archbishop Svyatoslav (Shevchuk) stated that for the first time during the Independence of Ukraine, an official threat was voiced about the termination of the activity of religious organizations of the UGCC, and assured that the Church is not a party to political processes.
UPD: 13/01/2014 Ministry of Culture threatens to close UGCC "for public services"
Ministry of Culture threatens the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church with lawsuits for the participation of its clergy in protests Source: http://censor.net.ua/p266203.
He said that the UGCC received a letter from the Ministry of Culture with a warning, and in fact, threats. "It is interesting that in this letter for the first time in all the years of independent Ukraine there was a warning, and we can even call it a threat, that the religious communities of the UGCC can be deprived of legal status in court," Svyatoslav said.
According to him, the reason for the appeal of the Ministry of Culture was the participation of priests in the protests of citizens. "The reason is the very fact that part of the clergy is among the believers who spontaneously came out to peaceful protests," Svyatoslav said. "We have always been, we are and will be with the people, this is the core of the church.We never encouraged or blessed any unlawful actions.We were educating the legal culture.We always called for the observance of the laws of Ukraine according to God's law, and consequently, the social doctrine of the church," - explained the head of the UGCC.
He stated that the church encourages believers to be active participants in the social process. "To be able to feel fair laws, and therefore, to be active participants in the social process.The church is not a party to political life, but it is an integral part of civil society," explained the UGCC Svyatoslav.